Robert Whittaker isn’t stepping out of the middleweight title photo just nonetheless.
“The Reaper” properly held his spot in the contenders’ line on Saturday with a unanimous selection get over Jared Cannonier in the co-main event of UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi. In the guide-up to the combat, much of the discuss swirled about Cannonier cementing a championship possibility with a win—especially with existing winner Israel Adesanya lately naming Cannonier as foreseeable future challenger—but Whittaker pressed pause on that narrative.
“It’s incredibly desirable to me,” White reported. “It’s the battle that can make feeling ideal now. Adesanya has a whole lot of options, but the combat that tends to make the most sense is Whittaker. I assumed Cannonier was gonna be a a great deal harder obstacle for him.
“He appeared fantastic tonight. So the Adesanya combat tends to make feeling.”
Any argument against Whittaker fighting Adesanya again might stem from how “The Past Stylebender” disposed of Whittaker 12 months ago. Adesanya capped off a strong performance with a second-round KO to conclusion Whittaker’s reign and a nine-struggle get streak.
Due to the fact then, Whittaker has spoken overtly about his struggles with psychological overall health and currently being burnt out by the requires that come with remaining an elite UFC fighter. Nine months immediately after the loss to Adesanya, Whittaker returned at a Struggle Island exhibit in July to defeat Darren Till by unanimous choice. With the gain above Cannonier, he has now won 11 of his past 12 fights.
Another aspect having in the way of Adesanya-Whittaker 2 is the fact that Whittaker has expressly mentioned he has no curiosity in preventing yet again right before the end of the yr. Speaking to the media before this 7 days, Whittaker repeatedly mentioned that he’s not looking previous Cannonier and that he’s hunting ahead to paying Christmas with his relatives.
When a hypothetical title combat in December was introduced up, Whittaker made available this response:
“Aw, f*ck. I do not know. (lengthy pause) I’ll stress about that then, honestly, mainly because I’d have to converse it out with my staff and if they imagined it was the best shift, they’d have a hell of a convincing work ahead of them. In any other case, I never have to worry about it. The only fight that’s in my sights is Saturday and that’s the only just one that matters at this issue.”
If Whittaker is out of the picture for any extended period of time, it’s doable that Adesanya will be matched up with the winner of a fight involving Till and Jack Hermansson scheduled for Dec. 5. Usually, the UFC could glimpse into the budding feud in between Adesanya and Jon Jones, and perhaps negotiate a superfight involving people two right before Jones will make a lengthy-predicted move to heavyweight.